April 6, 1919 (Vista, NY) – April 5, 1943; 23 years old
Last local address: 85 Wall Street, Norwalk
Service number: 20132980
CAMP HOOD, TEXAS
Lloyd was killed while escorting a prisoner at Camp Hood, Texas. Roy A. Prentiss from Winsted, CT was being escorted by Corporal Knapp when he took Knapp’s gun, shot him dead, then shot himself in the head but survived. He was sentenced to death by hanging in a court martial on July 8, 1943. President Roosevelt commuted the sentence to life in prison. Roy Prentiss died in 1979.
Hartford Courant July 10, 1943
Private Roy A. Prentiss, charged with killing a Norwalk, Connecticut soldier assigned to escort him to the guard house at Camp Hood, Texas, has been convicted by general court martial and sentenced to hang, the Associated Press reported Friday night. Prentiss, whose mother Mrs. Emma Prentiss, lives at 93 Elm Street, Winsted, Connecticut, was being taken to the stockade by Corporal Lloyd W. Knapp of Norwalk when it was charged, he seized Knapp’s pistol and shot him. Prentiss then shot himself in the head. He lay near death for some time in a Temple, Texas hospital. At the time, another son, Corporal Kenneth Prentiss, stationed at Camp Breckenridge, Kentucky was given leave to go to Texas to see his brother and later returned to Winsted for a short furlough with his mother. Before entering the Army, Prentiss had a police record which included convictions for driving while his license was suspended, breach of peace and intoxication at various times between 1939 and July 1941. Mrs. Prentiss said Friday night that she had not heard of the court martial sentence. She had recently received a letter from her son asking her to come to see him and send cigarettes and shaving cream. Told that only President Roosevelt could save her son, she said she would ask her attorney Judge H.H. Howd, to write a letter for her to the President. “Roy is a good boy”, she said. “He only gets into trouble when he drinks.” She said she had been saving money in order to make the trip to Texas.
NY Daily News, September 8, 1943
FDR COMMUTES DEATH SENTENCE
President Roosevelt has commuted to life imprisonment the death sentence of Private Roy A Prentiss of Winsted, Connecticut, convicted of the fatal shooting on April 4 of Corporal Lloyd W. Knapp, 23, of Norwalk, Connecticut, a sentry at Camp Hood, Texas, Congressman Joseph E. Talbot of Naugatuck revealed today. Prentiss, who later shot himself through the head and lost the sight of both eyes, was sentenced to death for the shooting by a court martial last month.
Private Knapp is interred at Milltown Cemetery, 134 Milltown Road, Brewster, New York. Photo by webmaster.